Boilermaker Blog

On The Road Again


This weekend, September 19th and 20th, was probably one of the prettiest we have had in Utica all year. The sky was totally clear, no humidity and temperatures in the low 70’s. Any one who did not run, walk, bike, kayak or crawl missed a real treat. As I ran on Sunday I thought about being a runner and the ‘rules of the road’, for members of the 2-legged and 4-wheeled gangs.
For the runner:
Obviously run against traffic. A few months ago I saw a runner with their back towards traffic wearing an iPod! I could almost hear Charles Darwin saying to her; ‘it’s time to leave the planet now young lady.’
Dress appropriately. No I’m not talking about wearing a Speed-O while running (but in nearly all cases that is not only inappropriate but awful looking) I’m speaking to visibility. If early morning/ evening runs are your thing the use of reflective material is a must. For those adverse to the standard reflective vests many shirts/ hats have luminescent or reflective material built in.
Be aware of traffic. Look at the cars approaching you looking at where the driver is. Are they coming at a high rate of speed or ‘hugging’ the solid line on your side. As a related topic, if a car moves over to give you space; give him a wave, acknowledge their good deed.
The infamous right on red. Frequently at noon I run a course that passes 2 fast food outlets; approaching them from the right hand side is an adventure in living. Always assume people can’t see you. BTW there is nothing better than nearly getting hit while a person chats away on their cell phone. ‘Sorry honey I have to hang up; I just bounced a runner off the front hood. I hope the dent he made buffs out!’ It seems to me the hands-free law in New York has not been really embraced by the driving public. Perhaps it will evolve like the mandatory seatbelt law that saw greater compliance over time.
Use the sidewalks. Hey, there’s a reason why God created the sidewalks. While I know that the sidewalks can be problematic with holes and turning ones ankle on the curb you do remove yourself from roadway.
For the driver:
I told my sons when they received their drivers’ licenses; ‘you are now captaining roughly 2 tons of steel down the road; understand the power under your control.’
Give a little bit: If possible give us running types some of the road and watch the speed.
I see you. As we move towards the wonderful winter season where it seems we have 3 hours of daylight keep those light on, perhaps you will see a runner!
Hey we’re running to be healthy. It’ll wreck your whole day to get hit, or to hit someone with a car!

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